The Employment-Based 5th Preference (EB-5) Investor Visa Program can sometimes be the fastest route to Permanent Residence in the United States. In return for an investment of $500,000 (plus attorney costs) or $1,000,000 (plus attorney costs) an investor, their spouse, and children under the age of twenty-one can receive Permanent Residence in the United States, enroute to possible citizenship.
The EB-5 Investor Visa requires a foreign national to invest $1.8 million (or $900,000 if the investment falls within a “targeted employment area”) in a business that creates ten new American jobs. Initially, the investor is granted 2-year conditional Permanent Residence. 6 months prior to the expiration of this conditional Permanent Residence, the applicant is allowed to file the I-829 petition to remove conditions. The Investor Visa Program has certain statutory requirements including the maintenance of the investment throughout the EB-5 conditional Permanent Residence period, increasing regional productivity, and other requirements. If these conditions are met, the investor and family members can file to remove the conditions on their Permanent Residence.
In order to be granted an EB-5 visa, an investor must invest in a new commercial enterprise that was either (1) established after November 29th, 1990, or (2) was established on or before this date and has been purchased, restructured, or reorganized in such a way that a new commercial enterprise results. Likewise, investors may invest in older businesses if their contributions result in a 40 percent increase in the business’s net worth or number of employees.
To apply for an EB-5 visa, you must fill out Form I-526 with the USCIS. If approved, you must then file Form I-485 to adjust your status to a permanent resident. If you do not already have lawful status in the United States, you must instead file for an immigrant visa by submitting Form DS-230, or DS-260 to the National Visa Center. Like any immigration related matter, this process can be considerably complex and expose you to numerous potential snags without the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney. At USILAW, our skilled investor visa lawyers can guide you step-by-step through the associated procedures and provide the support you need to maximize your chances of approval.
As with all investments, there are inherent risks. The investor should be well informed about these risks and understand the particular complexities of this visa. It is critical that investors understand the need to collaborate with entities that do not have conflicts in the alignment of interests and are working in concert. USILAW encourages safe investments and genuine partners so that outcomes can be positive and the results match the intention of the law both in spirit and essence.